Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

More Haunted Crime Scenes

Admissible Evidence?

Lisa Posluns
Lisa Posluns

Rui Marques worked as a janitorial superintendent in Toronto. When a thirty-eight-year-old real estate broker, Lisa Posluns, was handcuffed, sexually assaulted and murdered on November 2, 2002, Marques was initially treated as a suspect. In fact, he had the security codes and keys to her office at 94 Cumberland, where her body was found. While he was not her killer, he ended up playing a vital part in the killer's apprehension.

Sergeant Michael Walters and his partner responded to the call from Posluns's sister that she was missing and had not been in her apartment. Posluns's office was on the fifth floor, but nothing was found there, so Walters searched the other floors. On the ground floor, he saw a pool of blood outside a utility room, along with footprints and blood smears on the wall. Walters called his partner to assist him. They found a security guard to open the closet door. Inside, a female lay on her left side, with a bloodstained jacket thrown over her head and shoulder. One eye was open, staring in a way that confirmed she was dead. She had been stabbed seven times, and in a final indignity, her throat was slit. The officers started an investigation.

Since Marques needed access to the offices to clean, it made sense that he had a key, but that didn't help to ease suspicions. Yet finally he was cleared when his DNA was analyzed, excluding him.

About four months later, he was cleaning an office at 94 Cumberland Street, the same office building where Posluns had been murdered. According to him, as he shined a black table top, a shadowy figure appeared in front of him. He recognized it as Posluns and watched, startled, as it pointed to the table. He later said that "the hair stood up on my arm," but the apparition faded before he could say or do anything. Nevertheless, the image was memorable.

Nelson DeJesus
Nelson DeJesus

He told no one at first, but when police eventually questioned him about some of the workers in his employ, he thought about one of them, Nelson DeJesus, and recalled that the man always wore black. Recalling how the apparition had point to the black table, he thought he'd been offered a clue. He started to talk, recalling that DeJesus had encountered Posluns at the building on at least one occasion, had noticed her, and had even referred to her as "hot." Then on November 5, as several cleaners entered the building after the investigation, DeJesus had volunteered that he could not have killed her because he was working at Mississauga's Square One shopping centre over the weekend. In addition, DeJesus had once taken bags of salt from the utility room, so he knew about its existence, including that the lock was broken. Marques told all of this to the police.

When DeJesus was arrested, based on other evidence, including DNA and a history of rape, he was carrying what appeared to be a rape kit — a knife, handcuffs, and a balaclava. Instead of attacking yet another woman, he found himself going to jail, charged with first degree murder. He came to trial in February 2006.

Oddly enough, Marques's report about the ghostly visitation was allowed in court, and he described his experience before a judge. Defense attorney Mitchell Chernovsky was skeptical and asked Marques if he might have been drinking. Marques denied it.

The trial ran for several months, concluding on April 8, 2006, with a verdict. Based largely on DNA evidence from semen and saliva samples on Posluns's clothing, along with the victim's DNA on DeJesus's knife and handcuffs, the jury convicted DeJesus of the vicious sex murder. He'd been convicted of rape eleven years before, and for that he'd served only four years in prison. This time, perhaps thanks to an unquiet spirit, he was never getting out again.

It's not the first time that law enforcement has mixed it up with a ghost.

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